One of the largest footwear retailers and wholesalers in Europe, Hamm Reno Group sells through 2,500 locations across 20 countries. Headquartered in Osnabrück, Germany, it sells 49 million items a year, reporting annual sales of 600 million euros.
To stay competitive in the fastpaced fashion retail industry, Hamm Reno Group wanted to offer customers seamless shopping experiences. But to deliver cutting-edge omni-channel services, it needed real-time insight into prices, stock levels and sales. To facilitate agile, interactive inventory planning and optimize distribution, Hamm Reno Group deployed SAP HANA running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications on IBM Power Systems servers — a powerful combination delivering near-instant insight to support industry-leading customer service.
Competition in the retail sector has become even fiercer with the surge in digital technology. Consumers are not content with being limited to the traditional in-store shopping experience. They expect to be able to buy goods online or via mobile at their own convenience.
Matthias Schäfer, head of IT at Hamm Reno Group, begins: “We’ve seen a huge increase in online and mobile orders. In particular, the rise of click-and-collect services, where customers pick up orders in their local store at their preferred time, was putting strain on our systems and increased planning complexity.”
Manfred Gries, team leader data center operations at Hamm Reno Group, confirms: “To ensure that click-and-collect services run smoothly, we must get inventory planning and distribution spot-on. In today’s omni-channel retail environment, we need up-to-the-second insight to make the right decisions.”
“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is an extremely secure, fast and stable platform, which means that planning and sales analyses reveal trends instantly.”
To make inventory planning more flexible, Hamm Reno Group worked with SUSE partner Axians to migrate its core SAP Business Warehouse application to SAP HANA running on IBM Power Systems servers. The company selected the tailor-made SLES for SAP Applications as its strategic operating system.
Schäfer comments: “After deciding to move our SAP HANA environment to IBM Power Systems, SLES for SAP Applications was the obvious choice. SUSE Linux has long been widely used for SAP HANA at other companies. We also knew from experience that we could trust SUSE to support our most critical business systems.”
Jens Trinkaus, system administrator at Hamm Reno Group, recalls, “We really appreciate that SLES for SAP Applications is backed up by a joint team, which means we have access to engineers from SUSE and SAP.”
Schäfer adds, “Another feature that attracted us to SLES for SAP Applications was that it comes with extended support as standard — significantly lengthening the lifecycle and simplifying operations.”
With the optimized SLES for SAP Applications, Hamm Reno Group benefits from specific configuration settings and improvements developed in collaboration with SAP to achieve the best performance.
Gries remarks: “Supported by SLES for SAP Applications, we can really make the most out of SAP HANA’s real-time analytics capabilities. SUSE Linux is an extremely secure, fast and stable platform, which means that planning and sales analyses reveal trends instantly, and we get an up-to-the-second overview across all stores and warehouses. Planners can run simulations more dynamically, improving decision-making for distribution processes. Accurate insight into stock levels enables us to offer seamless click-and-collect services.”
Running SAP HANA on SLES for SAP Applications on IBM Power Systems helps Hamm Reno Group streamline systems management and scale to meet growing demand more efficiently.
Trinkaus elaborates: “Thanks to SLES, along with the IBM Power Systems servers’ built-in virtualization capabilities, we can set up, configure and roll out new SAP HANA systems faster. Previously, we had to implement new hardware when we provisioned new systems — typically costing around 20,000 euros. Now, we simply launch a new instance, saving time, effort and money. Being able to provision new SAP HANA systems on demand enables us to react faster to ever-changing demand, accelerating innovation.”
The company can also avoid planned downtime by moving logical partitions across physical servers. Furthermore, resource agents in SLES for SAP Applications enable Hamm Reno Group to automate SAP HANA System Replication failover — helping ensure business continuity.
With maintenance windows getting smaller and more difficult to schedule, the company is considering implementing SUSE Manager to minimize disruption, as well as to benefit from built-in security notifications.
Keen to exploit Internet of Things innovations in the data center, Hamm Reno Group is also looking into software-defined solutions, such as SUSE Enterprise Storage, to cut storage costs and help run its growing environment within budget.
Schäfer concludes, “Using SLES for SAP Applications to support our SAP HANA environment on IBM Power Systems has enabled us to take full advantage of lightning-fast sales and inventory analytics, helping us optimize services and offer customers the best possible shopping experience.”